Getting Around Brussels
The best way to get around Brussels is on its extensive public transit system, the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (often referred to by its French acronym, STIB). Trains run every 15 minutes from Brussels Airport (BRU) to central Brussels. There are three major train stations: Brussels Central Station, located in the heart of the city; Brussels-South, which sits southwest of the city center; and Brussels-North, just north of the city center.
Biking is also popular in Belgium with bike rentals available across the city through companies like Villo! and Pro Velo. There are even waterbuses from May through October, which will take you between Brussels, Van Praet and Vilvoorde on the canal.
Utilizing the city's public transportation system is a great way to give your feet a break in between touring the city by foot. The Brussels Intermunicipal Transport Company manages the city's metro, tram and bus system. The network encompasses four metro lines, 17 tram and 50 bus lines. There is also a night bus network called Noctis that runs on Friday and Saturday from 12:20 a.m. to 3 a.m. There are 11 routes operating within the Noctis network.
Single journey fares, which include transfers during 60 minutes after the first validation, cost 2.10 euros (about $2.25). Day passes and tickets for the airport bus are also available, as are reloadable cards. Remember to validate your ticket each time you use any public transportation vehicle as failing to do so can result in a fine. Most vehicles within the network operate from 6 a.m. to midnight daily.
Though it can be difficult to explore all of Brussels by foot, sightseeing within districts is best done on your ow two feet. You can find a walking guide to several popular neighborhoods on the Visit Brussels website.
Biking is popular in Brussels, and sometimes faster than driving through the city's traffic congestion. Villo! is the city's bike-share system and boasts more than 350 self-serve stations around the city. Plus, the first 30 minutes of your rental are free. If you'd like to rent a bike for longer durations or are considering signing up for a bike tour, Pro Velo is a popular option.
If you are bringing a car to Brussels, you should leave it parked at your hotel for the duration of your trip. Traffic within the city can be congested and finding a parking spot can be frustrating. If you do need to travel by car, use the parking.brussels smartphone app to find parking nearest you. Your U.S. driver's license will suffice for driving in Belgium, though some car rental companies may require you to obtain an international driving permit.
Taxis are plentiful but can get expensive, with fares starting at 2.40 euros (around $2.60) and increasing by 1.80 euros (about $2) per kilometer thereafter. Prices increase if you travel outside the boundaries of the 19 districts of Brussels. Ride-hailing apps like Uber are also an option in Brussels. Keep in mind: A taxi fare from the Brussels airport to the city center should cost around 45 euros (about $49).
The Waterbus offers transportation on the Zenne canal between Brussels and the city of Vilvoorde, which sits less than 10 miles north of Brussels. Waterbuses operate between May and October.
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